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Client-initiated submission

lisawerk
Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
1 of 16

What is my responsibility when a client initiates a payment and funds a milestone for a fixed price contract? The work has already been approved, milestone met, etc.

 

I had 2 milestones fund days apart this month - the 1st was initiated by the client and when I hit the 'request payment' button it duplicated the submission and the client denied it, because he had already initiated the submission (which was paid a few days later, as expected). What I got from that interaction is that when a client initiates a fulfilled milestone and funds payment - I don't need to do anything until I'm ready to deposit into my bank.

 

A second milestone by a different client was also initiated by the client so I did nothing for 5 days. Customer support told me I needed to submit payment and that the client has 14 days to review the work, then the 5 day security period. First, I can't find anything about a 14 day period - and it doesn't make sense to me considering the client initiated payment after approving my work already - why would he fund the milestone if my work wasn't approved?

 

Any clarification would be helpful - this is only my 2nd payment cycle so I am still working out the kinks. Thanks!

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 16

I am a little confused what you are describing so let's go through how a fixed rate contract works:

 

You client makes you an offer and funds the first milestone into Escrow

You check that the first milestone is set up and funded, then you start working

When you have done the work pertaining that milestone you submit it and request payment for that milestone.

The client then either requests changes, or approves the milestone work and releases the funded payment from Escrow to you, where it becomes available after 5 days for withdrawal.

 

So milestones have to be funded (into Escrow) BEFORE you do the work, then released from Escrow after the work has been approved.

 

Does that make sense?

lisawerk
Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
3 of 16

@Petra R wrote:

I am a little confused what you are describing so let's go through how a fixed rate contract works:

 

You client makes you an offer and funds the first milestone into Escrow

You check that the first milestone is set up and funded, then you start working

When you have done the work pertaining that milestone you submit it and request payment for that milestone.

The client then either requests changes, or approves the milestone work and releases the funded payment from Escrow to you, where it becomes available after 5 days for withdrawal.

 

So milestones have to be funded (into Escrow) BEFORE you do the work, then released from Escrow after the work has been approved.

 

Does that make sense?


 

Hi Petra,

 

Here is the process that I followed for one of my clients this month:

Client made an offer and funded the milestone, with the agreement that payment would be made each month on the 5th.

On the 5th, my work was approved and the client submitted for payment.

It went into pending, and then was available for payment. This all occurred without me submitting anything. It was client-initiated based on a pre-arranged schedule and I received payment. The only thing I had to 'click' was to deposit the available funds into my account. I actually thought I was required to click something on my end, but when I did, it duplicated the submission and I got a message from the client telling me I didn't have to do anything. He denied my submission and the payment still came through.

 

For a second client, also one who had prefunded the milestone and agreed to pay on the 11th, I completed the work and he reviewed it. This Monday, he initiated a payment. I thought, as with my other client, that nothing else was required on my end. Yet I am being told that the client has 14 days to review the work after my submission - when the only reason I clicked the submission button is because the client already reviewed the work and submitted it for payment.

 

Not sure if that all makes sense - to be honest, the info I'm getting from customer service is confusing. My main question is this: the client reviewed my work and agreed to pay me for it. Why then is there a 14 day wait period for review? It seems strange that the client could approve the work for a milestone, and then I would have to wait 20 days to have the funds in my bank. (14 day reviews, 5 day wait, 1 to deposit). Is that typical? 

 

Thanks!

 

 

yitwail
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 16

@Lisa W wrote:
Why then is there a 14 day wait period for review? It seems strange that the client could approve the work for a milestone, and then I would have to wait 20 days to have the funds in my bank. (14 day reviews, 5 day wait, 1 to deposit). Is that typical? 

 Lisa, here's how the 14 day review period works. If the client does not approve the milestone on their own and you request milestone approval first, then the client can take UP TO 14 days to review it. So the 14 days is optional, not mandatory. If it's a fixed priced contract and the client never approves the milestone, it's automatically approved 14 days after the freelancer requests approval. MOST clients will approve it within a day or 2 of the freelancer's request, but I suppose there are some who take the full 14 days.

 

It so happens I once had a client who insisted on a one week review for every project (at that time the review period was 7 days, not 14, if I'm not mistaken), even projects that took less than an hour to do, but I now decline all invitations he sends me and I suspect he takes the full 14 days to 'review' every project now.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 16

IF your client has approved the milestone the funds would ALREADY be under pending. If they are not under "Pending" the client has NOT approved the milestone and released the funds from Escrow.

lisawerk
Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
6 of 16

@Petra R wrote:

IF your client has approved the milestone the funds would ALREADY be under pending. If they are not under "Pending" the client has NOT approved the milestone and released the funds from Escrow.


 

Hi Petra,

 

I received the message when he approved it on the 14th. That was our agreement ahead of time, and from what I can see, he followed through. I think I'm just not understanding the extra step - the client initiated the payment based on a pre-arranged agreement after he approved my work for the month, so I'm confused about the potential extra 14 day waiting period. Especially considering the other contract that paid without me doing anything.

 

Thank you for your help.

Lisa

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 16

@Lisa W wrote:

@Petra R wrote:

IF your client has approved the milestone the funds would ALREADY be under pending. If they are not under "Pending" the client has NOT approved the milestone and released the funds from Escrow.


 

Hi Petra,

 

I received the message when he approved it on the 14th. That was our agreement ahead of time, and from what I can see, he followed through.


 What message did you receive and who from?

 

Where are those funds NOW? Under the In Process" tab or the "Pending" tab?

lisawerk
Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
8 of 16

Petra,

 

It is in the 'Review' tab. I received the email from the client when he initiated payment, showing the amount to be paid for the milestone and a message from him saying "Thanks for the hard work!" The only thing I can assume, based on the explanations in this thread, is that the client failed to do something on his end, so it didn't submit all the way.

 

I think the confusion was in the difference in activity between the two clients - one processed without my input after a client-generated submission, one needed my input after a client-generated submission. As you mentioned though, the fact that it is still in review means the client failed to officially approve it, even though technically the work has already been approved. I don't know what clients see on their end, but it seems strange that he could generate an official amount for work completed without actually approving the payment to be made.

 

Thanks again,

Lisa

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 16

@Lisa W wrote:

Petra,

 

It is in the 'Review' tab. I received the email from the client when he initiated payment, showing the amount to be paid for the milestone

Thanks again,

Lisa


 the client FUNDED the milestone, that is the email you received. It was putting money into Escrow, which is normally when you START working.  (When the client has funded the milestone and you know the payment for the work you are about to do is safely in Escrow.) The client, it seems, never actually released the funds from Escrow, and never approved the milestone.

lisawerk
Community Guru
Lisa W Member Since: Nov 14, 2015
10 of 16

@John K wrote:


 Lisa, here's how the 14 day review period works. If the client does not approve the milestone on their own and you request milestone approval first, then the client can take UP TO 14 days to review it. So the 14 days is optional, not mandatory. If it's a fixed priced contract and the client never approves the milestone, it's automatically approved 14 days after the freelancer requests approval. MOST clients will approve it within a day or 2 of the freelancer's request, but I suppose there are some who take the full 14 days.


 
John, so if the client did approve the milestone on his own, without my request, and initiated payment for a certain amount (part of an already pre-funded amount in escrow), shouldn't that negate the 14 day waiting period? My confusion is in the differece between my two fixed-price contracts. On one, the client approved the milestone without my submission, and payment was processed in 5 days. On another, the client approved the milestone without my submission, and payment has not yet processed after 6 days and I am being told it is under a 14 day review.
Thanks,
Lisa
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